Below are a few of the items that I've been trying out so I don’t feel like I’m going stir crazy from being cooped up for too long.
We’re extremely fortunate to live in a world where we can be interconnected with friends or family that we can’t see in-person at the moment. We can also pass the time through spending hours with social media, television, or gaming. However, too much screen time can be bad for us. Even during lockdown.
Take a break from your screen for a bit and consider reading a new book. Reading has been found to be highly therapeutic because it requires so much of our attention and focus. Connor Goodwin, a journalist for The Atlantic, writes, reading “might be the best antidote for the psychological toll of a socially distanced life.”
If reading is too much of a solo activity for your taste, think about starting a virtual book club! This can be a new way to connect with friends and it’s always fun to hear different people’s perspectives.
We’re certainly living in unprecedented times at the moment. Keep a diary to track how the coronavirus is affecting your overall life and the lives of your friends or family. Someday you’ll look back on this diary and be able to share it with grandchildren or friends about how this crisis affected you and how you dealt with it.
Writing about the effect of the coronavirus on your life might help you transfer some of those anxieties you've been bottling up onto paper. Writing can be extremely rhythmic and it can help you work through internal thoughts you may be struggling to communicate to loved ones.
While you’re writing, take the time to write about a couple of items that you’re grateful for in your life at the moment. This will help your mind focus on the things that are within your control and will reinforce positive thoughts and emotions.
One of the positive sides of the current lockdowns is the amount of time that people have spent video chatting with one another. Even people who lived thousands of miles apart before quarantine are experimenting with video chat than they were previously! If you’re video chatting a lot with friends and family at the moment, try bringing some games into the mix too. This will help to shake up the conversation and will distract everyone from talking about the pandemic for a bit.
If you find yourself needing a break from all the virtual happy hours you’ve been a part of lately, consider going really old-school and start writing letters. This can be a fantastic way to connect with some of your technology-challenged relatives, and it will give them something “real” to hold in their hands.
As the spring weather continues to warm, try to go outside for a walk or a run each day (just be sure to maintain 2 meters between yourself and others).
If you’re living in an area where you currently aren’t allowed to go outside at all, turn on your favourite soundtrack and dance around your room for a couple of minutes or do some jogging in place. While this might sound silly, just getting up and moving each day can help your body from feeling fatigued from a lack of movement and it can help your mental state remain positive.
Now is the perfect time to pick up a new skill, craft, or talent, and learning something new will help you mix up your days. What you pick doesn’t have to be anything monumental, but focusing your energy on something new will help your brain stay stimulated (it will also give you something to talk about when you see your friends in person again).
Try to put a positive spin on your extra time at home through gaining a new skill that you never “had the time” to learn before.
Hopefully a couple of these suggestions will help you pass the time during the lockdowns! Keep in mind, that we’re all going through this together. And, more than likely, we’re all going to have some strange new things to talk about when we can connect in person once again.